Facebook Makes “Friends Only” The Privacy Default For New Users

Facebook Makes “Friends Only” The Privacy Default For New Users

For years, when new users joined Facebook, the default privacy setting had been to share your every baby photo/quote of the day/quiz result/divisive political rant with the public at large. Users had to opt into higher levels of privacy to limit their updates to smaller groups. But today Facebook announced that the default setting for new users is to only share posts with folks on their lists of friends. [More]

(frankieleon)

Private Companies Building Giant Unregulated Databases Tracking License Plate Location Info

Do you know everywhere your car has been in the past week? Month? Year? You may or may not remember it all, but there’s a good chance that your license plate has had its photo snapped, and its location recorded, a whole bunch of times in that period. And anyone who can pony up the cash for a subscription to that database can tell exactly where you’ve been. [More]

(Pixteca | Len & Pix【ツ】)

Europe’s Highest Court Tells Google People Have The “Right To Be Forgotten”

When you search for yourself on Google — and don’t deny you’ve done it at least once — do you love absolutely every bit of information that comes up? No, but you figure, it’s on the Internet, so it’s there forever. But Europe’s highest court has ruled that people have the “right to be forgotten,” and that they should be able to ask Google to remove certain sensitive information from Internet search results. [More]

Snapchat Settles Federal Charges It Misled Users About Privacy

Snapchat Settles Federal Charges It Misled Users About Privacy

One of the reasons people use the Snapchat messaging app, especially for messages that one may not want to have a permanent record of, is that those texts and photos supposedly disappear shortly after being received by another user.

But the Federal Trade Commission accused the service of not only over-promising and under-delivering on this notion of vanishing messages, but that it also deceived users about the amount of personal data it collected. [More]

Proposed Rule Allows Banks To Post Privacy Disclosures Online Instead Of Using Snail Mail

Proposed Rule Allows Banks To Post Privacy Disclosures Online Instead Of Using Snail Mail

Each year banking institutions must send consumers a privacy notice through the mail. To cut costs and better streamline the practice, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is proposing a new rule that would allow customers to see the privacy disclosures online. [More]

(frankieleon.)

UPS Delivers Stranger’s Package To My House, Tells Them Where To Find It

UPS delivers 15 million items every day, so maybe it’s inevitable that some of them will end up in the wrong place. The problem is what happens when they deliver a package to the wrong place: say, 101 Truman Street instead of 101 Truman Avenue. In one man’s case, UPS appeared to have sent a stranger to his home to fetch his own misdelivered package. [More]

Are You OK With A Restaurant Googling You If It Improves Customer Service?

(Michelle Rick)

If you apply for a job, you can rest assured that someone will Google your name or look you up on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and elsewhere before hiring you. If you meet someone via an online dating service, he or she has probably (and wisely) made repeated efforts to look you up on publicly available social media sources in order to make sure you’re not a suspected serial killer. But when you make a reservation at a restaurant, you probably don’t expect anyone there to do any research about you. [More]

If you leave WhatsApp, think of all the brilliant, insightful chats you'll be missing out on.

Feds Remind Facebook & WhatsApp To Respect User Privacy After They Get Married

The Federal Trade Commission is giving a bit of pre-marriage advice to Facebook and one of its many betrothed, messaging app WhatsApp, which said “I do” to Facebook’s $19 billion (with a “b”) proposal back in February. Given Facebook’s past transgressions, the FTC felt that maybe it was worth reminding the giddy-in-love couple that there are laws about what they can and can’t do with users’ data. [More]

Kindly Dinosaur Nags Facebook Users To Check Their Privacy Settings

Kindly Dinosaur Nags Facebook Users To Check Their Privacy Settings

Meet Facebook’s new mascot of accidental oversharing: a kindly blue dinosaur that shows up and gently prods you to think about the privacy settings on your posts. Why a dinosaur? We’re not sure, but it’s definitely cuter than a cartoon annoyed family member or an adorable rendering of a publicly gossiped-about friend. [More]

(Sh4rp_i)

Don’t Recycle Your Personal Information Into Identity Thieves’ Hands

Recycling paper: it’s supposedly better for the environment han tossing your old paperwork in a landfill, so it makes us feel good. All of our old paperwork is a bountiful harvest for someone who isn’t making brown paper napkins, though. If you aren’t careful, your personal and financial information could get recycled right into someone else’s hands. [More]

(frankieleon)

Google Beefs Up Gmail Security In Attempt To Keep Out Any Prying Eyes (Cough, NSA, Cough)

In a move that’s likely to make mass-surveillance of its email customers a whole lot harder to pull off, Google announced that it’s just beefed up security for Gmail by only using an encrypted HTTPS connection for all incoming and outgoing messages. [More]

Predictive Models, Secret Scores: How Computers Decide Who You Are & What To Sell You

(Mike Saechang)

Savvy consumers all know that their lifetime debt history ends up in their credit score, and that lenders use that score to try to predict if someone is a good bet for a big loan like a mortgage. But even the most-connected consumer may not realize how many hundreds of other scores we all now trail in our wakes too, thanks to the advent of big data. Do you know, to the last decimal, how likely are you to buy jewelry? To sign up for cable? To have a kid in the next year? Someone, somewhere, is tallying all of that information about almost everyone. But good luck finding out what’s out there, who’s scoring it, and if your numbers are even actually about you at all. [More]

WhatsApp Founder: Just Because Facebook Bought Us Doesn’t Mean We’re Selling Users Out

WhatsApp Founder: Just Because Facebook Bought Us Doesn’t Mean We’re Selling Users Out

Amidst concern from users and industry trade groups over private information changing hands between WhatsApp and its new overlords at Facebook, the wireless messaging service’s CEO and founder is attempting to assuage fears in a new blog post promising that the company won’t sell users out. [More]

Facebook, WhatsApp Acquisition Face Privacy Hurdle After EPIC Files FTC Complaint

Facebook, WhatsApp Acquisition Face Privacy Hurdle After EPIC Files FTC Complaint

Mergers and acquisitions routinely face opposition and complaints. Facebook’s $19 billion deal to buy messaging system WhatsApp has been able to stay rather unopposed, until now. [More]

Tinder Fails For Months To Inform Public Of Security Flaw That Reveals Users’ Exact Location

Tinder Fails For Months To Inform Public Of Security Flaw That Reveals Users’ Exact Location

UPDATE Feb. 20: Tinder sent Consumerist the following statement the day after this story originally ran. It’s from CEO and founder Sean Rad. [More]

Child Protection Advocacy Group Rejects Facebook Privacy Lawsuit Settlement, Asks Court To Reconsider

Child Protection Advocacy Group Rejects Facebook Privacy Lawsuit Settlement, Asks Court To Reconsider

Facebook is notorious at this stage for playing fast and loose with users’ privacy. In 2013, the social sharing behemoth faced and settled a class-action lawsuit regarding its privacy practices. Today, one of the advocacy groups awarded a share of the settlement has reversed their stance, refused the payment, and is asking the court to reconsider the deal. [More]

Al Franken Isn’t Too Keen On Google Glass Face-Recognition App

Al Franken Isn’t Too Keen On Google Glass Face-Recognition App

Some people wouldn’t have a problem with you shooting photos and video of the people you pass as you stroll down the street sporting your Google Glass headgear. But if you could use a facial recognition app on that same device to glean personal information about complete strangers, it’s probably not going to be as warmly received. [More]

(Mike Matney)

What’s The NSA Using To Spy On You Now? Angry Birds.

The revelations about just how embedded into every facet of modern, technological life the NSA is just keep coming. The spy agency isn’t just collecting calling records and tracking electronics; they’re in your iPhone games, too. [More]